Senior Management Team
Director of Business Growth
In 2021, Janine became the first female director to lead the GC Business Growth Hub, having successfully led a range of multi-million-pound contracts and programmes in the public and private sectors.
Janine is adept at designing services that answer specific challenges within business. In 2017 she developed the Mentoring for Growth programme with the small business champions Be the Business. Initially run as an unfunded pilot across Manchester and Birmingham, Janine helped secure a two-year funded contract for the Growth Company to run the scheme nationally.
Janine has also been instrumental in managing the Hub’s involvement with the Manufacturing Growth Fund, which over the past six years has provided the engineering and manufacturing sectors in the North West with access to funding and specialist expertise.
She has also secured funding and delivered programmes such as Digital Cheshire, which offers SMEs the opportunity to bring a new level of digital connectivity to their operations, and Recipe for Success Lancashire, which has specifically helped connect the region’s food and drinks businesses with buyers.
Director of Relationships and Place
Colin heads up GC Business Growth Hub’s strategic engagement with public and private sector partners, ensuring the Hub remains embedded within the Greater Manchester social and economic landscape.
He leads on stakeholder engagement to ensure return on investment and to identify new service opportunities.
Colin’s 25-year background in financial services and business support has seen him develop a robust knowledge of the needs of small and medium businesses.
Following a successful decade running the West Cheshire and North Wales Chamber of Commerce, Colin is well connected in business circles. Having also spent time working for a small charity, Colin also brings a knowledge of the needs of enterprises within the third sector.
Director of Operations
Catriona leads on strategic planning, performance and contract management for GC Business Growth Hub, leading the Operations team to deliver support services across the company including contract compliance, quality, procurement, project management, finance, management intelligence and standardisation. Catriona also manages funder relationships and ensures best value for money for our contracts and services.
Prior to moving to this position, Catriona has worked within various departments across the Growth Company, having first joined the company for a student placement in 1999.
Head of People, Skills and Talent
Dawn has over 25 years of experience in developing, implementing, and evaluating organisational development, incorporating business strategy and skills development for businesses – ranging from executive level to apprenticeships – in line with national, regional, and local policy.
She is responsible for the continuous design, delivery and evaluation of the People, Skills & Talent programme at GC Business Growth Hub, which includes initiatives such as the Executive Development Programme and Workforce Development. Over the last five years the programmes have worked with more than 1,800 businesses helping to create over 700 jobs and increasing GVA and turnover by around £33m, while the Mentoring programme has over the past decade grown to having a bank of 180 volunteer mentors who have worked with over 600 mentees.
In addition, Dawn is also responsible for the design and delivery of the £7million Skills for Growth – SME Support Programme, which aims to work with 3,000 SMEs and 15,000 individual employees between October 2020 and March 2023.
Dawn has executive level coaching and mentoring expertise, as well as project management experience, financial management and a strong track record of ensuring contracts are delivered against targets and on time. She also manages high performing, diverse teams, and excels at stakeholder and partner management, delivering a high quality of service from project inception to evaluation.
Head of Innovation
Yvonne is an experienced Business Development Manager, Project Manager and Innovation Specialist with a proven track record in developing, mobilising and managing high performing teams.
She has worked on numerous high growth innovative projects, helping to take hundreds of new products and services from concept through to commercialisation.
As Head of Innovation at the Hub she has supported more than 3000 regional businesses and helped to create over 600 new jobs. This work has helped to establish over 150 university collaborations, seen over 180 new products introduced to the market, and contributed over £5million in business sales increases.
As well as working with blue chip businesses such as Unilever, Jaguar Land Rover and the Pera Group, Yvonne has over 25 years’ experience working with SMEs at board level in the pursuit of identifying and implementing business innovation opportunities that add value to the bottom line.
Throughout her career, Yvonne has garnered extensive experience in project and programme management for both the public and private sectors, including working with Lancaster University’s Management School Innovation Growth Programme.
Head of Manufacturing and Resource Efficiency
She is a highly experienced operational and programme manager, with over 20 years’ experience leading programmes at The Manufacturing Institute prior to joining the Hub in 2016.
Anne has an MSc in Management and is highly knowledgeable in providing tailored support to SMEs from shop floor to board room to achieve operational excellence and deliver business impacts. Anne has significant experience of working with the public, private and academic sectors.
Head of Start-Up and Growth
Hilary is a skilled and experienced manager with an extensive background in support for start-up and scale-up businesses.
Her relentless work ethic is exemplified in the rapid development and roll-out of several high-level business support projects, all aligned to specific, priority sectors or hard-to-reach economic groups. Through programmes such as Recipe4Success, Spark2Scale, Digital Cheshire, Start-Up Vision and EnterprisingYou, Hilary has developed a start-up “ecosystem,” empowering the self-employed and SMEs of the Northern Powerhouse.
A business graduate, Hilary started her career in manufacturing and IT, and has since spent 20 years supporting businesses in a broad range of sectors, including manufacturing, finance, professional services, construction and biomedical.
She has been instrumental in helping to develop the Hub’s growth, start-up and pre-scale services into a primary source of high-quality business support, contributing first-hand to the economic growth of the region.
Head of Digital, Creative and Technology
Sarah is passionate about bringing effective business growth strategies to the community behind Greater Manchester’s digital, creative and technology sector.
With almost a decade of experience in growing teams and businesses, Sarah strives to bring improvement by connecting creative minds and establishing environments which accelerate growth.
Sarah brings an international perspective and is well known for her straight to the point way of approaching business support. She has worked with teams in blue chips, scale ups and start ups, and prides herself in bringing learnings around strategy, sales, innovation, pricing and productisation into an ambition to interlink and align industry needs with the Greater Manchester sector support offering.
Head of Access to Finance
Philip has worked in the commercial and corporate finance arena for over 40 years and for the last seven years he has been responsible for the Hub’s Access to Finance service, s managing a team of finance specialists who support SMEs across Greater Manchester and Lancashire.
The service helps businesses to access growth and development capital leading to significant benefits for individuals, businesses and the economy in general.
Working closely with partners in the business and professional communities, he is adept at helping organisations to make sense of the complex funding marketplace by identifying the most relevant sources of funding and assisting in discussions with potential investors.
Philip’s previous roles include Investment Executive at FW Capital and Business Finance Development Manager at the Northwest Regional Development Agency, where he led on the strategic delivery of the agency’s financial products and services to SMEs across the north west of England.
Head of Green Technologies and Services
Amy is a chartered environmentalist, with over 15 years’ experience both as a commercial manager within the energy from waste sector and a business advisor in the Green Technologies and Services industry.
With an MSc in Environmental Monitoring, Modelling and Reconstruction and extensive experience in a consultancy role, she has developed a deep understanding of the technologies that make up the industry and the legislation that affects it.
She also has specialist knowledge of the sector’s supply chain and has spent over a decade developing and managing a range of programmes to support its growth across the North West of England.
This support has typically included providing tailored advice and guidance to small and medium sized businesses to achieve their growth potential through providing access to new sales opportunities, specialist training and market intelligence to help better navigate the turbulent market they operate within.
Amy is now Head of Green Technologies and Services at GC Business Business Growth Hub, delivering a support programme aimed at businesses suppling low carbon environmental goods and services.
She leads a team of specialist advisors who help businesses in the sector to identify barriers to growth, raise their profile and boost sales to fast-track the successful transition to a net zero economy.
As an advocate for the sector, Amy has a key role in engaging and sharing her knowledge with both private stakeholders and public bodies to accelerate the uptake of low carbon tech and help achieve the UK’s target of becoming carbon neutral by 2050.